|Also spelled||'Arab Zubeih|
|Date of depopulation||April 20, 1948|
|Cause(s) of depopulation||Fear of being caught up in the fighting|
Arab al-Zubayd was a Palestinian village in the Safad Subdistrict. It was depopulated during the 1947–1948 Civil War in Mandatory Palestine on April 20, 1948, when the villagers fled on hearing the intentions of The Palmach's First Battalion of Operation Yiftach. It was located 15 km northeast of Safad, situated close to al-Barid River in the foothills of the Upper Galilee Mountains, which slope towards the al-Hula Plain. It was located just west of the al-Mutilla-Safad—Tiberias highway.
British Mandate era
In the 1922 census of Palestine conducted by the British Mandate authorities, Arab Zubaid had a population of 257; 2 Christians and 255 Muslims, increasing in the 1931 census, when it was counted together with Al-'Ulmaniyya, to 432; 5 Christians and 427 Muslims, in a total of 100 houses.
The population, combined with that of Mallaha, came to 890 Muslims in the 1945 statistics, with a total of 2,168 dunams of land. In 1944/45 a total of 1,761 dunums were used for cereals by the villagers, while 20 dunams were classifies as built-up land.
The population relied on many springs for drinking water, to the north and to the northeast linked to the al-Band River. The economy was based on grain cultivation and in 1944–45 a total of 1,761 dunums was allocated to cereal farming.
1948 war and depopulation
Israeli historian Benny Morris has found evidence that its population feared the possibility of a Jewish attack and fled on 20 April at the very beginning of the operation, before the actual occupation of any villages in the area. Nevertheless, in August 1948, Golani Brigade units were preparing to blow up the village after a complaint from the nearby Kibbutz Sha'ar HaAmakim who objected to their forces. Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion denied responsibility, saying: "No permission was given by me or to any commander to destroy houses." The village was still destroyed and today all that remains of Arab al-Zubayed is rubble, buried under a thicket of woods, grass, and thorny plants.
In 1992 the village site was described: "All that remains of ‘Ara al-Zubayed is scattered rubble, buried under a thicket of woods, grass, and thorny plants. Irrigation works tap the village’s water resources. Animals graze in the mountainous portions of the and near the site. Some land in the plain that borders the site has been converted into an Israeli nature reserve, while the rest is cultivated by Israeli farmers."
Notes and references
- Morris, 2004, p. xvi, village #31. Also gives cause of depopulation.
- Department of Statistics, 1945, p. 10
- Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 70
- Khalidi, 1992, p.435.
- Robinson and Smith, 1841, vol 3, Appendix 2, p. 134
- Barron, 1923, Table XI, Sub-district of Safad, p. 42
- Mills, 1932, p. 111
- Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 119
- Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 169
- Khalidi, 1992, p. 436
- Barron, J. B., ed. (1923). Palestine: Report and General Abstracts of the Census of 1922. Government of Palestine.
- Department of Statistics (1945). Village Statistics, April, 1945. Government of Palestine.
- Hadawi, S. (1970). Village Statistics of 1945: A Classification of Land and Area ownership in Palestine. Palestine Liberation Organization Research Center.
- Khalidi, W. (1992). All That Remains:The Palestinian Villages Occupied and Depopulated by Israel in 1948. Washington D.C.: Institute for Palestine Studies. ISBN 0-88728-224-5.
- Mills, E., ed. (1932). Census of Palestine 1931. Population of Villages, Towns and Administrative Areas. Jerusalem: Government of Palestine.
- Morris, B. (2004). The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem Revisited. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-00967-6.
- Robinson, E.; Smith, E. (1841). Biblical Researches in Palestine, Mount Sinai and Arabia Petraea: A Journal of Travels in the year 1838. 3. Boston: Crocker & Brewster.